HORRENDOUS - Anareta (DARK DESCENT Records LP 2015)
Finally I gave this album a good, careful listen. It's been two years, since "" release!! Long time already, I know, but it took me a while before I purchased a copy of the vinyl and even more time to play it. Forgive me this delay, but there were two reasons for it. First was the amount of music that I buy every month and want to listen to. Second was the fact that Horrendous' second album "" was a hard game for me. I didn’t like it so much after first couple of spins, I was definitely disappointed when I've heard how the band progressed, comparing their second album to more traditional "Sweet Blasphemies" demo or the truly old school "The Chills" record. But after a while it turned out that "" is a "grower" kind of album and it gets better and better with every listen. So it opened the door also for "". And here it finally is, nice piece of black wax straight from the catacombs of Dark Descent Records.
And yeah, definitely "" is a natural follower to "", so this time it doesn't surprise as much, as the previous record did. There's everything on "" what characterized and was so fascinating about "" - progressive death metal, with strong melodic base, a lot of technical, Death- or Atheist- passages, some quite weird arrangements and sometimes almost heavy metal influences. But the thing is that the way Horrendous plays their music and how they arrange and structure songs, gives them a very original sound. Honestly they're one of the very few newer death metal bands, which you can say that managed to create their own, unique style within the genre. You can recognize them immediately and that's really an exceptional thing, in my opinion.
I have to say that "" is damn good album. I truly like many ideas or riffs the band came up with, even if sometimes it's not necessarily stuff, which I normally would like. But damn, the way they play this progressive death metal is amazing! Take for example this extremely good instrumental song "" and check all these fantastic melodies, leads and all other stuff they play in it! Wow, it doesn't even sound like old school death metal really, but it's really damn good anyway. When Horrendous comes with these memorable harmonies it can be felt that they have a strong Swedish / Gothenburg influence (early At the Gates for instance), but the music has more unique character. You'll be able to catch these melodic bits in basically every song, but I like the fact that their music, even if is so progressive, can still sound aggressive and damn harsh, sometimes almost brutal. And it's damn powerful! The production is top notch, it definitely is one of the best things about this album. And these harsh, kind of / like rough screams of Damian Herring are also one of these aspects, which I like about Horrendous so much. Also the guitar work is exceptional. But does thunderous bass and intense drumming leave anything more to wish? No, they're almost perfectly executed, in my opinion.
In songs like "The Nihilist", "Ozymandias" or "Stillborn Gods" the band is doing better than ever before and considering their young age, I am simply amazed how fresh and great it all sounds. Definitely Horrendous is one of the most creative bands around these days, especially when compared to bands, which only re-play the old formulas and riffs. I have nothing against these bands, love many of them truly, but it's just great to hear that someone decided to refresh the murky and musty old catacombs of death metal. Especially when we hear such a good effect as "". I don’t know if this album will speak to every death metal fan or not. Maybe some will not like its progressive and technical inclinations, other may dislike the melodic side of it. , there will be always some people, who will moan or say it's another hipster band from trendy label. I am not bothered. As much as I was sceptical before for this development of Horrendous music, it managed to defend itself and with time it proved its great worth. Now it sounds like pure fuckin jewel, difficult to be fully appreciated at first sight, but which with time becomes more and more fascinating.
Standout tracks: "The Solipsist (Mirrors Gaze)", "The Nihilist", "Ozymandias", "Stillborn Gods"
Final rate: 85/100